Can ony o' ye dulcimer-literate folk assist a bewilderit beginner aboot strings? I hae a mountain dulcimer, fowr strings, an' after breakin' th' original strings ane by ane, I put on th' single extra set that cam wi' ma dulcimer in a wee unlabelled plastic bag. I wis daein' grait, figgerin' oot sangs richt an' left, an' then, jist afore gain' flyin' aff tae play music wi' oot-o'-state friends, I startit hearin' a wee rattlin' sound.
I figgerit it wis time tae get new strings agin, sae I trundled aff an' purchased an official "dulcimer" string packet listin' its contents as "M-640 4-string Nickel Alloy Wound" an' statin' th' string sizes as .012, .012, .012, an' .022. Och, noo ev'ry single string rattled sumpit dreadfu'. I went back an' boucht bigger strings, twice. I think I ended up wi' .014, .014, .014, an' .026, an' th' rattle wis maistly gane, but nae completely. An' th' hale sound o' th' thing is "aff" a bit, an' I can hardly stand tae play wi' it.
This seems like sic a simple instrument, an' I feel like a richt eejit because I cannae fix sumpit sae basic as a rattlin' string. I tried wedgin' wee snippets o' plastic intae th' grooves in th' nut, guessin' that micht haud th' strings in mair tichtly...tried gettin' th' strings tae rest sae high in th' nut that they didnae come in contact wi' th' top fret...tae nae avail. I'm defeatit an' disjaskit an' dulcimer-impaired. Can some wise dulcimerist tell me what tae dae?!?